12:00pm Friday 11th July 2014
By Sarah Yates
WOMEN clergy in Gloucester will discover on Monday whether they will be allowed to become Bishops in the Church of England.
The General Synod will be meeting in York this weekend, when it will debate and vote on the issue.
Members of Gloucester’s Diocesan Synod voted in favour of the plan in May. The proposals were overwhelmingly supported, with just one vote against and one abstention, both in the House of Laity.
Many have been looking forward to this moment, including the Venerable Jackie Searle, Archdeacon of Gloucester, who is optimistic about the result.
She said: “The legislation being discussed is simpler and better than previous legislation and appears to have a lot of support. It needs just 6 people who voted against last time to change their minds.
“I am optimistic, but it is optimism tinged with slight caution even at this point. I can hardly dare to believe it could really go through after all the waiting. What it would mean to me is that at last the Church of England is saying a resounding and unqualified 'yes!' to the ministry of women at every level of church life. That would be absolutely brilliant.”
The Revd Jane Ketchington, area dean for Wooton and rector of the Sodbury Vale benefice, has also said she is praying for a yes vote.
She said: “We have been waiting a long time for this and it’s high time that the Church of England formally recognised God’s calling of some women to the office of Bishop. It’s a scandal that the Church is stopping many gifted women to answer God’s call to them, to offer themselves to be Bishops.”
For full details of the vote on Monday, along with more reaction from Bishop Michael and other members of clergy, visit our website: www.gloucester.anglican.org.
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